Computer Software Engineering Colleges and Schools in the U.S.

Computer software engineering programs are usually offered through a school's computer science or engineering department. Programs in are available at 4-year colleges and universities at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

How to Select a Computer Software Engineering School

School reputation and job placement history factor in when considering a university for computer software engineering. Students must take into account the availability of the major, the levels of the degrees offered and any possible areas of specialization. The availability of research opportunities and up-to-date laboratory facilities also are important considerations when selecting a school in this field. Students may also consider the availability to focus their studies on their specific areas of interest within the wide range of software engineering specialties. Finally, students should select an accredited program to ensure that they are prepared to work in the profession upon graduation.

Students interested in computer software engineering programs may want to keep these considerations in mind:

  • Schools that offer advanced research opportunities at the graduate and undergraduate levels allow students to gain hands-on experience in computer software engineering.
  • Schools that offer students up-to-date computer labs and laboratory facilities dedicated to software engineering allow students to submerse themselves in the field.
  • Students can focus on targeted areas such as real-time systems, enterprise software, operating systems, parallel computing architecture, artificial intelligence, e-commerce systems or networking.
  • Schools that are accredited by a professional association, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, assures that a program has met the high-quality standards.

Computer Software Engineering Program Overviews

Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering

These programs stress programming and math. Students learn to design traditional software for computers and video games, as well as real-time dedicated devices, like smart phones, and control systems for industry, aeronautics and space flight. Students are typically required to complete a senior project. They also examine subjects such as:

  • Calculus
  • Statistics
  • Programming languages
  • Algorithms
  • Logic circuits

Master of Science in Software Engineering

Postgraduate students tackle the more complex computing areas, such as parallel computing, artificial intelligence, network security and wireless engineering. Master's programs can include a thesis or research project, which can launch students into a successful career with opportunities for advancement. Master's degree students take courses such as:

  • User interface design and evaluation
  • Software quality assurance
  • Real-time systems

Ph.D. in Software Engineering

Doctoral students delve into engineering languages, data mining and distribution systems. They are also required to complete a research dissertation or thesis that must be presented before a faculty board. Additional program requirements may include teaching experiences and practicums. Graduates are prepared for academia and research opportunities in software engineering. Ph.D. students explore topics such as:

  • Advanced operating systems
  • Software systems architecture
  • Computer and network security
  • Programming language semantics

Top 10 Computer Engineering Schools

College/University Institution Type
Massachusetts Institute of Technology4-year, Private not-for-profit
Stanford University 4-year, Private not-for-profit
University of California - Berkeley 4-year, Public
Carnegie Mellon University 4-year, Private not-for-profit
University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign 4-year, Public
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor 4-year, Public
Georgia Institute of Technology 4-year, Public
California Institute of Technology 4-year, Private not-for-profit
Cornell University 4-year, Private not-for-profit
University of Texas - Austin 4-year, Public

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